Some states call drunk driving DUI or DWI, but Ohio calls it OVI, or operating a vehicle impaired. When you get pulled over in West Chester Township Ohio for a suspected OVI, the officer may conduct chemical tests to check your blood alcohol content. Officers commonly use Breathalyzers to check BAC, but several factors could influence the results.
Basics of BAC
BAC refers to the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, commonly written as a percentage based on the grams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. For example, a BAC of 0.02 means you have 0.02 grams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. In most states including Ohio, the legal BAC is 0.08. However, you can get a DUI or OVI even if you’re under the limit if your driving ability is impaired. An OVI may also include impairment from certain drugs, such as cocaine, heroin or PCP.
Factors that impact BAC
Alcohol metabolizes at an average rate of 0.016 BAC per hour equal to one standard drink. Standard drink in this case equals 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. If your BAC is 0.05, it would take around five or six hours for your body to remove the alcohol.
However, your gender, age, weight and body size influence the rate that BAC rises. Women have less dehydrogenase, or the enzyme that breaks down alcohol, than men do. People who have more body fat also break down alcohol slower because fat tissue has less water.
Food keeps the alcohol in the stomach longer, which slows absorption in the blood stream. The rate you drink, the type of alcohol, sleep, your tolerance level and your mood can also influence BAC.
Penalties for an OVI commonly include jail time, fines and license suspension, so try to avoid driving while impaired. However, mistakes are sometimes made, so you need a lawyer to examine your case.